How to Become a Dog Trainer: A Career Overview

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What it Takes to Be a Dog Trainer

A dog trainer is essential for helping clients control their dog, regardless of age, and behave in a social and obedient manner. Highly qualified and proficient trainers may also work with dogs that provide a specialty service, such as hunting, law enforcement, performance or show dogs. While a fun and flexible career choice, it is important to note that dog trainers and all those who work with animals are statistically more prone to injury at work, as animals, in this case canines, can be unpredictable- especially when under stress, sick, injured or frightened. Some skills crucial to success in this vocation (and required by anyone working with animals) include: the ability to listen well and process information, the ability to solve problems in a timely manner, good communication skills, empathy and respect for animals and a high degree of athleticism. To follow this career path, it is suggested that you need at least a high school diploma and some prior experience working with animals. It is a job with a good balance of social, psychological and physical demands.

How much does a dog trainer make?

To enter this rewarding career a high school diploma should be earned and of course you should have some practical experience working with and taking care of animals. While not essential, certifications are preferred and can lead to greater opportunities and a high pay scale. If you possess these attributes, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a median salary of about $30,000 annually for animal trainers and dog trainers specifically.

Resources to help in starting or expanding your dog training career: